The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, September 5, 2022, comes to us from Susan G. Walters of Kentucky.
1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John—2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. 4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. ) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
John 4:1-15 NRSV
THE POWER OF WATER
On a recent trip with friends to a nearby lake, I visited a beautiful waterfall. I was able to hear it even before I could see the falling water plunging into the lake below. We anchored our boat and began to swim toward the waterfall. The force of the water, the sound, and the coolness did not scare me. I swam with confidence to the waterfall, letting the water hit me on the head, neck, and shoulders. My friends were smiling, and we stayed near the waterfall for quite some time, allowing the cool water to refresh us in the heat of the day. That majestic waterfall reminded me of God’s love, power, and constant presence. Jesus offers us Living Water. He quenches our thirst and fills us with his love until it overflows from us to others. This water satisfies like no other and fills the soul.
Water is a powerful symbol, like the still waters referenced by Psalm 23, or the miraculous parting waters of the Red Sea that provide escape for the Hebrews fleeing Egyptian chariots. Through the waters of Baptism, we are included in the family of God, granting us status as heirs and access to the invaluable gifts of peace, joy, and mercy. Susan’s reflection conjures the story of Jesus’ offer of living water during his exchange with a Samaritan woman at Jacobs Well. Jesus converses with the woman offering her the gift of the never-ending living water of transformative relationship with God. Each of us have received the same invitation, found ourselves cleansed by the waters of baptism and have been granted rest by the quiet stream of God’s presence.
Heavenly Father, we want to be filled with your living water so that we may be refreshed and share your love with others. We pray as Jesus taught us, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13, KJV)
-- Susan G. Walters
Gratitude for god’s gift of nature
Thought for the day:
What evidence of God’s love and power do I see in my life?